Just 6% of U.S. companies provide any childcare benefits, shows a new survey by Clutch. That measly statistic exits although the average annual cost of an infant or toddler is $11,666 — a number that can rise much higher contingent upon where a family lives.
Simultaneously, the Clutch survey revealed that 94% of working parents receive no childcare benefits from their employer. Plus, the federal government mandates zero weeks of paid family leave. Those factors can make handling job duties in America a challenging task for workers also trying to raise a child.
The lack of affordable childcare can be dread inducing for working parents. It could cause employees to perform poorly, suffer financial hardship, cut their hours, or prompt them to leave the workforce altogether – issues that disproportionately affect women, the Clutch survey divulged.
A separate study reveals that working families in America bypass $8.3 billion in lost wages because of a lack of affordable childcare.
The daycare matter is more difficult for women than men. Some 59% of male employees are convinced everyone has a fair chance to move up at their company, versus 43% of female employees.
Clutch declares women often face the burden of childcare duties that can negatively impact their careers and earning potential. And 13% of women are dissatisfied with their company’s childcare benefits even when those perks are offered, compared to 3% of men.
So even though some might claim offering childcare benefits can be too costly, Clutch revealed that there are many options small businesses can consider implementing to help support employees with children that may vary in cost. The Washington, D.C. based ratings and review firm says those options include:
- Offering childcare subsidies.
- Furnishing on-site childcare.
- Allowing flexible employee schedules.
- Instituting predictable employee schedules
- Providing back-up childcare assistance.
- Supplying flexible childcare spending accounts.
On-site childcare or childcare subsidies can be moderate to very expensive to apply, Clutch reports, but can drastically reduce employee attrition while raising morale. The firms also declares implementing predictable and flexible schedules can be an easier and cheaper way to begin helping parents.
Businesses also can get some tax breaks by adding childcare as an employee benefit. When you directly pay for your employees’ childcare expenses, the Internal Revenue Service lets you claim 10% to 25% of the cost—or up to $150,000—each year, Gusto.com reports.
Further, businesses offering childcare benefits can potentially harvest the rewards of reduced turnover, increased productivity, and engagement.
Business owners should consider offering childcare benefits that help alleviate parents’ struggles while still staying within the business’s budget, Clutch reported.
Pedro Silva, co-founder and CEO of KüdLZos, a childcare benefits platform, recommends offering childcare benefits that are tangible, effective and yet convenient.
Companies can start helping working parents by providing Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. Those accounts let parents reserve pre-tax dollars toward care expenses.